1. Do you believe that people should be measured by how successful they are in their jobs and what an individual has done, or by what they are, and their interpersonal relationships and their ranking in society?
2. Do you think it is reasonable to lay your personal relationships aside and look at the situations objectively? Why?
3. What culture do you prefer to live and work in: achievement or ascription one? Why?
4. What culture do you belong to? Explain why you think so.
Part 8. Cultures differ greatly in their view of the individual's place vis-à-vis the external world, especially on the question of to what degree human beings can control or manipulate forces out themselves and thereby shape their own destiny. While all cultures believe that certain things happen outside of one's control, they differ as to what extent they believe this and on how much one can do in response. The two poles of this dimension, internal and external, are defined below.
Internal: The focus of control is largely internal, within the individual. There are very few givens in life, few things or circumstances which have to be accepted as they are and cannot be changed. There are no limits on what you can do or become, so long as you set your mind to it and make the necessary effort. Your success is your own achievement. You are responsible for what happens to you. Life is what you do; hence, these represent more activist cultures.
External: The focus of control is largely external to the individual. Some things in life are predetermined, built into the nature of things. There are limits beyond which one cannot go and certain givens that cannot be changed and must be accepted. ("That's just the way things are.") Your success is a combination of your effort and your good fortune. Life is in large part what happens to you; thus, these represent more fatalist cultures.
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